WHY VISIT WARSAW
Do not be fooled by the outline of the Palace of Culture and Science, the legacy of socialist architecture. Although it is the first thing you will see when arriving in Warsaw, it is not representative of the beauty of the Polish city. It is no coincidence that the inhabitants of the capital call it “the monster”. A stark contrast to the definition of “Paris of the North” with which the Polish capital was called before the Second World War came to destroy it.
The historic center, perfectly reconstructed, is a small jewel of colorful facades, alleys, gas lamps, hidden squares. There are two fundamental places in the center: the Market Square, with the Little Mermaid symbol of the city and Castle Square, the place of origin of Warsaw. Just outside the center, along the ancient “Royal Route”, you can reach two park-buildings: Wilanow and Lazienki, a legacy of kings, nobles, and rich merchants. But these are just some stops in Warsaw.
WHAT TO SEE IN WARSAW
Top attractions not to be missed are:
- Old Town & Market Square
- Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)
- Royal Castle
- Old Town Observation Terrace
- Palac Lazienkowski and Garden of Lazienki Krolewskie
- Krakowskie Przedmiescie
- St. Anne’s Church (Kosciol Swietej Anny)
- Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanow
- Pomnik Bohaterow Getta
- Nowy Swiat
- Swietojanska Street
- Palace of Culture and Science
- Warsaw Barbican (Barbakan Warszawski)
- University of Warsaw (Uniwersytet Warszawski)
- Hala Mirowska
- Warsaw’s Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene
- Field Cathedral of the Polish Army
- Archcathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
- Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists
- Bazylika katedralna Sw. Michala Archaniola i Sw. Floriana Meczennika
- Church of the Holiest Saviour
- Prozna Street (Ulica Prozna) & Grzybowski Square
Following instead some hidden spots of the city that only locals know!
- a city view from top of the Marriott Panorama Bar or from the Gdański Bridge
- the rooftop garden of the Warsaw University Library
- Fragment of Ghetto Wall (ul. Zlota 60)
- Statue of the Little Insurgent
- interior of the Politechnika University
- Metro Plac Wilsona
- Powazki Cemetery
- Markiewicz viaduct
- Dawna street
WHEN TO GO TO WARSAW
The best period to visit Warsaw is from May to September.
Following a list of main events and typical festivals and celebrations of Warsaw.
- Drowning of Marzanna (march, 21)
- Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival
- Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
- Mozart Festival
- Slaska Noc Swietojanska (June, 23)
HOW TO REACH AND MOVE IN WARSAW
main airports are:
download the transportation map
WHAT TO DO IN WARSAW
typical dishes of Warsaw are:
- Bigos: a dish of cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms, and is served with rye bread or mashed potatoes.
- Kasza Gryczana: buckwheat groats.
- Kiełbasa: Polish sausage.
- Polish Hot Dog: usually made with either kielbasa or a combination of beef and pork with some other additives that give it a taste distinct from traditional hot dogs. Sometimes cheese is put inside it. And, it’s usually larger than a regular hot dog.
- Rosół: chicken soup with noodles and veggies.
- Placki Ziemniaczane: thin pancake made with grated onion, carrot, parsnips, or other vegetables. Delicious served hot either sprinkled with sugar or dolloped with sour cream.
- Kluski: dumplings about the size of golf balls sometimes served on their own with cottage cheese or poppy seeds.
- Pierogi: dumplings stuffed with meat, mushrooms, and cabbage or cheese.
- Łazanki: homemade pasta, fried cabbage, and other vegetables served with pork.
- Zurek: soup made with stock, bacon, onion, mushrooms and sour cream, and is given a distinctive, almost sour taste with the addition of kwas.
- Kotlet Schabowy: pork breaded cutlet, coated with breadcrumbs made of pork tenderloin (with the bone or without), or with a pork chop.
- Krupnik: thick barley potage containing a variety of vegetables and small chunks of meat. Better known than those two, though, is barszcz (or borscht – beetroot soup), which runs thin and clear and is often served in cups with small hot pasties stuffed with meat or cabbage.
- Gołąbki: cabbage leaves stuffed with beef, onion, and rice and baked in tomato sauce.
- Golonka: boiled pig’s knuckle served with horseradish and sauerkraut.
- Barszcz: soup of red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery or root parsley. Sometimes made with meat or bacon and served as a thicker stew.
- Oscypek: smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk.
- Polskie Naleśniki: thin crepes served either sweet (with cheese and jam) or savory (with meat and vegetables).
- Szarlotka: a dessert that’s somewhere between an apple pie and a pastry.
- Sernik: cheesecake made using twaróg, a type of fresh cheese as the filling.
- Blueberry Mazurka: treat made with blueberry preserves filling that’s spiked with blueberry vodka, pressed between layers of crumbly pastry made with brown sugar, walnuts, oats, flour, and butter.
- Chrusciki: light-as-air pastries served on special occasions.
- Pączki: jam filed doughnuts.
- Makowiec: poppy seed pastry cake.
- Piernik: ark and moist honey cake made with a number of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, usually served with a chocolate glaze
- Żywiec: fairly strong lager
- Wódka: country’s national tipple is Polish vodka, which comes in many different varieties.
typical souvenirs of Warsaw are:
- Amber necklaces or bracelets
- Traditional folk sculptures, like angels
- Folk dressed dolls
- Linen products
- Wooden keepsake box
- silver jewelry
- leather objects
- Pierniczki, chocolate-coated gingerbread; Krówki, fudge sweets; or chocolate-coated prunes
- Mead alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey flavored with cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and other spices, Polish beer, Vodka or Żubrówka flavored Vodka
The main theatre of Warsaw is Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa.